10 Scenic Lakeside Towns in Asia That Will Take Your Breath Away

10 Scenic Lakeside Towns in Asia That Will Take Your Breath Away

For your next escape right by the water.

Asia is dotted with charming towns nestled along picturesque lakeshores, just waiting to be discovered. Picture this: Watching the breathtaking hues of pink and orange streaking across the sky while relaxing by the water. Doesn’t it sound like a dream? Plus, you’ll get to indulge in delicious local cuisine at lakeside cafes and restaurants while soaking in breathtaking views. 

Ready to embark on a captivating adventure through peaceful landscapes where water intertwines with culture? Well, these lakeside towns in Asia promise endless opportunities for unforgettable moments. Pack your bags and prepare to discover the hidden treasures that await in the enchanting lakeside towns of Asia!

Also read: 14 Night Markets in Asia for Street Food and Neon-Lit Views

Must-visit lakeside towns in Asia

1. Pokhara — Nepal

Lakeside Towns in Asia

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Nestled on the shores of Lake Phewa, the city of Pokhara in Nepal definitely counts as one of the best lakeside towns in Asia. For one, it boasts a remarkably rich cultural heritage, deeply intertwined with legends that resonate through the valley. According to local lore, the region was once submerged beneath a vast lake until the revered saint Guru Padmasambhava arrived. Through his meditation, the waters receded, unveiling the fertile land that now thrives beneath Pokhara’s picturesque landscapes. Today, explore the town’s ancient history and religious traditions at sites such as the Bindhyabasini Temple and the World Peace Pagoda

Of course, Lake Phewa — Nepal’s largest lake — serves undoubtedly as the focal point of the city. Visitors can indulge in leisurely boat rides across the tranquil waters, soaking in panoramic views of the surrounding Annapurna and Machapuchare mountain ranges. The lakeside promenade offers a charming setting for leisurely strolls, dotted with cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops. If you’re looking for a spot to soak in the vibrant local energy, then the Lakeside District is definitely it!

2. Fujikawaguchiko — Japan

Lakeside Towns in Asia

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Nestled on the foothills of Mount Fuji, resort town Fujikawaguchiko is a favourite of travellers seeking solace and inspiration. The picture-pretty resort town is nestled on the shores of one of the popular lakes in Asia, Lake Kawaguchiko, which is part of the renowned Fuji Five Lakes. Here, visitors can indulge in a variety of water activities. Enjoy boating, fishing, kayaking, and lakeside picnics while marvelling at the reflection of Japan’s iconic peak on the serene waters.

Surrounding the lake are picturesque walking trails and observation decks offering breathtaking views of Mount Fuji. It’s particularly stunning during sunrise and sunset. During golden hour, outdoor enthusiasts and photographers flock lakeside to capture the majestic beauty of the area.

More than that, the town also served as a vital stop for pilgrims en route to the sacred mountain’s summit. Thus, Fujikawaguchiko’s cultural heritage thrives, even today. Visitors can explore traditional villages, serene shrines, and historic sites such as the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, renowned for its intricate kimono artistry.

Also read: 10 Scenic Stays Near Mount Fuji for the Best Views

3. Kintamani – Bali, Indonesia

Lakeside Towns in Asia

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Many people visit Bali for the surf-ready beaches, but what if we tell you it’s also home to one of the most picturesque lakeside towns in Asia? In the village of Kintamani, you’ll find a perfect mix of adventure and relaxation set against a backdrop of breathtaking views and rich culture. Kintamani isn’t directly on the shores of Lake Batur, but from its location on the rim of the Batur caldera, the village enjoys stunning panoramic views of the lake nevertheless. 

Don’t miss the chance to visit Lake Batur, a tranquil oasis nestled within the caldera of Mount Batur. We recommend hopping on a traditional jukung (outrigger canoe) for a leisurely boat ride on the serene waters while admiring the natural views. Looking for adventure? The invigorating hike in Mount Batur offers not only panoramic views of the surroundings but also a sense of achievement as you reach the summit. 

For a taste of local culture, a visit to Jati Temple provides insight into Bali’s spiritual heritage, with its intricate architecture and serene atmosphere inviting quiet reflection and contemplation.

Also read: 10 Idyllic Islands in Indonesia to Visit Besides Bali

4. Cholpon-Ata — Kyrgyzstan

Lakeside Towns in Asia

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Steeped in history and nestled beside the world’s second-highest altitude lake, Lake Issyk-Kul, Cholpon-Ata offers a charming blend of ancient mystery and natural beauty. It serves as a gateway to the magnificent Lake Issyk-Kul, one of the largest and deepest alpine lakes in the world, beckoning visitors with its crystal-clear waters and stunning scenery. Here, you’ll spend days swimming, boating, and basking in the peaceful atmosphere of lakeside beaches. Heavenly, right?

For culture vultures, there’s evidence of human settlements in town that date back millennia. And so, the town’s heritage is as enchanting as its scenery. Petroglyphs and ancient rock carvings lie scattered along the shores of Lake Issyk-Kul, providing glimpses into Cholpon-Ata’s prehistoric roots and adding to its allure as a cultural destination. Its rich history is further cemented by its flourishing past as a vital stop along the Silk Road, serving as a trading hub and cultural crossroads between East and West.

5. Nam Mau — Vietnam

Lakeside Towns in Asia

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When talking about the must-visit lakeside towns in Asia, we can’t overlook Nam Mau in Vietnam. A picturesque area in Ba Be National Park, it attracts travellers with its rich natural beauty and abundance of outdoor activities. There’s no doubt that its most enchanting sight is Ba Be Lake, a peaceful oasis surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. 

Surrounded by verdant forests and majestic mountains, this picturesque region offers a long list of opportunities for adventure and exploration. From trekking through jungle trails to embarking on scenic boat rides, visitors can immerse themselves in breathtaking scenery 24/7. Want to stay right by the waters? Head to Pac Ngoi, the largest village on the banks of the lake that offers rustic accommodations for visitors.

6. Hongcun — China

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Travel to China for one of the underrated lakeside towns in Asia: Hongcun Ancient Village. Tucked within the Huangshan mountain range, it’s home to a network of lakes, canals, and ponds. Most notably, Nanhu Lake, a man-made lake surrounded by beautiful willow trees. 

In 2000, Hongcun Ancient Village was designated as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. It rose to acclaim for its well-preserved architecture and rich cultural heritage, dating back 900 years to the Southern Song Dynasty. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, Hongcun also emerged as a thriving trade centre. The village flourished, leaving a lasting legacy of historical buildings that remain standing today, including South Lake Academy, Lexu Hall, Chengzhi Hall, Sanli Hall, and Shuren Hall.

Whether enjoying a leisurely stroll by the tranquil waters of Nanhu Lake, admiring reflections in the crescent-shaped Moon Pond, or marvelling at the intricate designs of Chengzhi Hall, Hongcun enchants visitors with its timeless allure and historical importance.

7. Udaipur – India

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Next on our list of lakeside towns in Asia, Udaipur is a must-see — it’s nicknamed the “City of Lakes” after all! Numerous lakes surround the city, creating a romantic setting even as it emerged as a major tourist destination. In the centre of the city sits Lake Pichola, a famous water body flanked by grand palaces, temples, and lively markets. Travellers can enjoy boat rides on Lake Pichola, admiring the picturesque cityscape and fiery sunset hues.

Located in the heart of Rajasthan, Udaipur invites travellers with its charming lakeside beauty and fascinating history. History buffs will also enjoy learning about Udaipur’s rich history, which dates back to the 16th century. Serving as the capital of the Mewar Kingdom, the city is celebrated for its splendid architecture and cultural heritage.

Travellers have the option to explore the grand City Palace, a vast complex of palaces, courtyards, and gardens with views of Lake Pichola. Alternatively, they can wander through the narrow streets of the Old City, where historic havelis and lively bazaars offer a glimpse into the past.

8. Fenghuang — China

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Fenghuang Ancient Town, also known as “Phoenix Ancient Town,” is renowned for its meticulously preserved traditional architecture, cobblestone streets, and elaborately crafted wooden structures that have stood for centuries. Situated along the banks of the Tuo River and framed by verdant mountains, this historic town is a favoured destination for travellers eager to delve into China’s vibrant cultural legacy. We recommend taking a boat trip along the river for a glimpse of traditional wooden houses called diaojiaolou and local life.

9. Lake Sebu — Philippines

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Located in the Philippinessouthern island of Mindanao, Lake Sebu is well-known as a crucial watershed, providing essential irrigation to Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato provinces. Positioned within the ancestral domain of the T’boli and Ubo tribes, the lake carries immense cultural significance. Indeed, locals revere Lake Sebu as a sacred heritage site. It’s especially breathtaking in the early light of dawn, so paddle out early through the still waters and water lilies. 

Additionally, visitors to Lake Sebu can also explore nearby attractions. From the Tri-People Monument in Surallah, which symbolises unity among the diverse ethnic groups of the area, to the rejuvenating Mambucal Hot Sulphur Spring and the lush greenery of Kolondatal Nature Park, there’s no shortage of local experiences to enjoy.

10. Phayao — Thailand

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To wrap up our list of beautiful lakeside towns in Asia is Phayao, a town on the banks of the beautiful Phayao Lake in Thailand. Travellers can embark on leisurely boat rides while taking in panoramic views of the lush landscape. You won’t run out of things to do in Phayao. While laid-back, the town comes dotted with charming waterfront promenades, parks, and pavilions. It’s definitely perfect for picnics, family outings, and leisurely strolls. 

For a dose of culture, there are also two must-visit temples if you’re in the area. Wat Tilok Aram is renowned for its elegant Lanna-style architecture and serene atmosphere. Meanwhile, Wat Si Khom Kham stands as a symbol of Phayao’s spiritual significance, with its towering pagoda and ornate decorations drawing worshippers and tourists alike. 

In addition to its religious sites, Phayao is also known for its vibrant Phayao Walking Street, a bustling marketplace that comes alive in the evenings. Be sure to bring a shopping bag and some extra cash!

Also read: 19 Lakeside Towns in Europe You Have to See in This Lifetime

That concludes our journey through these lakeside towns in Asia! We must say, every single one deserves a toast for the diverse beauty and rich experiences that await travellers. Each town offers its own unique charm and allure, too. So, which one are you visiting?

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About Author

Anne Mercado
Anne Mercado

Anne is your go-to girl if you want to talk about all things beauty, fashion and adventure. Her creative expression would be through writing and curating photos. Exploring different places and immersing herself in diverse cultures is her idea of fun. If you ask her to describe what her perfect day is, her answer would be by the beach with a book on her hand enjoying a nice margarita.